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Genome Institute of Singapore, Beckman Coulter, Althea Technologies, WaferGen, Technical University of Deft, Expression Analysis, Innovative Biosensors, USC, Illumina


Genome Institute of Singapore, NimbleGen Combine for SARS ID Chip

The Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and NimbleGen Systems last week announced a microarray-based assay to identify strains of the SARS virus. The new method allows the molecular test to be completed in three days and will be used to complement existing methods.

GIS used data obtained from its previous sequencing of five SARS virus strains to derive a single consensus sequence for the SARS virus and used that sequence to produce a SARS-specific detection chip.

The microarray can process up to 50 samples at a time, according to a statement by the two institutions.

Beckman Coulter Enters Licensing Deal For Althea Technologies Gene Expression Tools

Beckman Coulter has taken an exclusive license to Althea Technologies eXpresss gene-expression profiling technology, the companies announced last week.

Beckman Coulter said it would integrate Althea’s technology into its GenomeLab suite of genetic analysis solutions for drug-discovery applications in target validation and compound characterization.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Startup WaferGen Licenses Labs-on-Chip From Technical University of Delft

WaferGen last week said it has licensed three lab-on-a-chip technologies developed by the Technical University of Deft, The Netherlands.

Two of the chip technologies measure compounds involved in cell metabolism, and a third has potential to improve PCR processes.

The university will receive royalties and equity shares of WaferGen, the company said in a statement.

WaferGen, which began operations in California in January, develops”active-chip’ technology for data collection and analysis.

Ventzeslav Iordanov, a graduate student in electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science at the Technical University, developed the chips covered in the WaferGen agreement.

One chip measures the presence of NADH, which plays a role in the conversion of sugars into energy. The second chip registers conversion of ATP molecules, which deliver energy to cells. The third chip replicates small pieces of DNA via PCR. The chips are microfabricated silicon wafers with electronics incorporated in a well that contains heating and cooling systems.

Expression Analysis Extends Services Agreement With Duke

Expression Analysis, the Durham, NC-based company which started its corporate life as the Affymetrix-platform microarray core laboratory for Duke University, said last week that it has extended its collaborative services agreement with Duke University Medical Center for three years, with options to renew the agreement in the fourth and fifth years of the agreement.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Innovative Biosensors Joins Maryland Incubator

Innovative Biosensors last week announced that it has joined the University of Maryland’s technology company incubator and would move to College Park, Md., from its present location in Gaithersburg.

The company, which was founded in 2003, is developing CANARY (Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields) technology, a biosensor platform exclusively licensed from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for application in food testing, human and animal clinical diagnostics, and sales to the life science research market.

The sensor utilizes genetically modified immune system cells to respond to specific pathogens, along with a molecule that lights up when the specific agent is detected. IBI has received $162,000 in funding from the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. Investors include private angels, as well as the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Joe Hernandez, founder and CEO of the six-employee company has held senior marketing, sales and business development positions at Digene Corporation, Affymetrix, and Merck.

USC to Use Illumina Genotyping System for Neurogenetic Research

Illumina said this week that the University of Southern California’s Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the Keck School of Medicine has agreed to purchase a BeadLab SNP-genotyping system to support its research in neurodegenerative and neuropsychological disorders.

Illumina said that the system will serve as a core facility for DNA analysis across USC, supporting a biomedical research programs conducted by different departments.

Financial terms of the agreement were not provided.


The Scan

Genes Linked to White-Tailed Jackrabbits' Winter Coat Color Change

Climate change, the researchers noted in Science, may lead to camouflage mismatch and increase predation of white-tailed jackrabbits.

Adenine Base Editor Targets SCID Mutation in New Study

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, report in Cell that adenine base editing was able to produce functional T lymphocytes in a model of severe combined immune deficiency.

Researchers Find Gene Affecting Alkaline Sensitivity in Plants

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science have found a locus affecting alkaline-salinity sensitivity, which could aid in efforts to improve crop productivity, as they report in Science.

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.